Podcast - Ed Parsons: "a city is nothing but a collection of people"

In a series of special podcasts “MIPIM Leaders’ Perspectives” about the future of real estate post Covid-19, senior level leaders shared their predictions and insights with Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief at Investment Monitor. In an informal and friendly environment, leading investors, developers, brokers and others in the real estate value chain will predict future developments.

Ed Parsons: The Human Interface

There is only one geospatial technologist evangelist at Google: Ed Parsons.

When we reach him, he is wearing a t-shirt from the European Space Agency and glasses with a transparent frame. His demeanor resembles the one of a passionate science teacher, and without surprises, he used to be one.

Ed Parsons has been Google’s geospatial technologist evangelist for the past fourteen years. His job is basically to make our maps smarter.

As a tech evangelist, Ed Parsons can be considered as the human interface from the inside world into Google: always happy to share and explore the world of geospatial data and location-based tools.

But far from having only a tech-oriented approach, he is vocal about the importance of people:

Because a city is nothing but a collection of people. All sharing the same space. And I think the Google view of the smart city is very much focused on the individual citizens, on the day-to-day choices that you might make based on the information that can be provided around you, that makes your interactions with your fellow citizens, with the city in which you live, easier, quicker, more efficient and hopefully greener in the future. – Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist at Google


city - Ed Parsons, Geological Technologist at Google

Ed Parsons, Geological Technologist at Google


In a way, technology has a way of ingraining itself into our everyday lives.

But, according to Ed Parsons, “the big change that happened in the last decade or so, perhaps in the last five years, is that the information we have about the city has become more detailed, more granular in terms of space, we can see both in time and space, our cities are changing on an almost minute by minute basis, and start to make decisions if we choose to with that level of knowledge.”

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About Author

Media entrepreneur exploring new ways of doing journalism, he is the founder and editor-in-chief of Terra Incognita.

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